The DOH recently included 120 medicines under the maximum retail price scheme to help bring down the price of life-saving drugs for Filipinos.
Angara pushes price ceilings for more meds
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sonny Angara backed the price ceilings implemented by the Department of Health (DOH) for certain medicines, which he said would provide some degree of relief to consumers, especially the poor.

The DOH recently included 120 medicines under the maximum retail price (MRP) scheme to help bring down the price of life-saving drugs for Filipinos.

Included in the new list are medicines for killer diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular, chronic lung and neonatal diseases, renal disease and major cancers.   

This is the second batch of medicines included in the MRP scheme that is provided for under Republic Act 9502 or the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008.

 “If the studies of the DOH are correct that ‘generic drugs are still sold up to four times the international reference prices here and branded innovator products are sold up to 22 times higher, there’s no doubt that this (MRP) is just and pro-people,” Angara said.

 He said the biggest out-of-pocket health expenses of a Filipino family are for medicines, at 50 percent.

 According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, per capital health spending of Filipinos was at P6,791 in 2017.

 Based on the population of 104.9 million, the total national health spending in 2017 was at P713 billion. 

Household out-of-pocket spending accounted for 54.5 percent or P373 billion of the current health expenditures that year; 50 percent or P187 billion of the out-of-pocket expenditures went to the purchase of medicine.

Angara said each Filipino spends an average of P1,779 for medicines a year.

That’s why I fought the removal of VAT on the sale of drugs and medicines prescribed for diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension starting Jan. 1, 2019. And this is implemented in Republic Act 10963 or the TRAIN law,” he said.

MEDICINES SONNY ANGARA
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